You know the old saying: good things come in small packages. This philosophy can easily be applied to delightful small towns in Michigan, many of which contain unbelievably wonderful eateries. When you’re ready to explore some of the tastiest cuisine imaginable, venture to these nine small-town restaurants throughout the Great Lakes State. Your taste buds are in for a treat.
1. Salt of the Earth (Address: 114 East Main Street, Fennville, MI 49408)
This farm-to-table gem in Fennville is sure to amaze with its unbeatable service, wonderfully fresh ingredients, on-site bakery, and fun live events. From stuffed chicken to steak to wood-fired pizza and unforgettable dessert, there’s an endless string of options to select from here. Pick up a loaf of finely crafted bread for the road when your meal is through.
2. Martha’s Leelanau Table (Address: 413 North St Joseph Street, Suttons Bay, MI 49682)
If you’re a fan of fresh, locally sourced food and small-town delights, you’ve come to the right place. Martha’s Leelanau Table sits in the tiny community of Suttons Bay and serves delicious eats made with Michigan-produced fare and plenty of love. Situated in a century-old farmhouse, this one-of-a-kind restaurant is sure to steal your heart and delight your taste buds.
3. Pink Pony (Address: 7221 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
It doesn’t get much more charming than Mackinac Island, and Pink Pony will only enhance your experience with its waterfront setting, festive atmosphere, and fantastic menu. The menu here is equally as impressive, offering options like Atlantic salmon, Thai crunch salad, and Southern-style baby back ribs. By the time you’re through here, you’ll be counting down to your next visit.
4. The Southerner (880 Holland Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453)
As its name suggests, this welcoming eatery in Saugatuck features a comfort food-inspired menu and some of the friendliest service imaginable. Settle in at a seat with a view of the Kalamazoo River and select from mouthwatering fried chicken entrees, shrimp and grits, mac ‘n cheese, and more. You’ll feel like part of the family as soon as you set foot inside.
5. Palette Bistro (Address: 321 Bay Street, Petoskey, MI 49770)
When you’re in the mood for a fine Mediterranean meal among stylish surroundings, look no further than Palette Bistro in Petoskey. You might just spot a sunset over Little Traverse Bay as you settle in with a glass of wine, order of root vegetable risotto, or beef tenderloin plate. This locale perfectly combines elegance with comfort and service.
6. Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Address: 713 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734)
Take a virtual trip to Germany when you spend time at this beloved Frankenmuth fixture, which has delighted generations of Michiganders with its unforgettable atmosphere and flavorful dishes. Whether you opt for a home-cooked chicken dinner, try a bit of wiener schnitzel, or sample a tasty sausage, you’ll be full and happy in no time at all.
7. Birch & Maple (Address: 727 Main Street, Frankfort, MI 49635)
If you’re ready to dig into some of the greatest breakfast food imaginable, look no further than this quaint restaurant in the town of Frankfort. When you stop for a meal at Birch & Maple, you’ll enjoy fantastic service, freshly prepared delights, and an airy atmosphere that’s tough to beat. Favorites on the menu include mixed berry french toast, chicken and waffles, and traditional eggs benedict.
8. Union Woodshop (Address: 18 South Main Street, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346)
From slow-smoked BBQ to insanely delicious burgers and pizza, there’s plenty to love at this small-town favorite. Upon setting foot inside, you’ll be overcome by the aroma of wood-fired deliciousness, and it’s tough to leave with an empty stomach. Another menu favorite is the Union Mac ‘n Cheese, which blows diners away with its perfect combo of cheeses and crunchy outer crust.
9. Taste (Address: 402 Phoenix Street, South Haven, MI 49090)
Venture to the lakeside town of South Haven for an unforgettable dining experience at Taste, which prides itself on serving delicious small plates and unique culinary creations. Featuring a menu loaded with everything from sushi to tilapia tacos to potato pancakes, there’s truly something at Taste to satisfy your every craving. Pair your meal with a martini to round out the evening.
Are there any other wonderful small-town restaurants in Michigan that should have been included on our list? We’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line with your suggestions in the comments below!